Loads of goodies in my next newsletter. I reveal the unexpected fact I learnt about witches, I become a bumbling radio star, and fellow author James Watts (pictured) explains the highs and lows of taking to the road on a book signing tour.
Plus, there’s exclusive 20% discounts for Jay Raven Readers Group members on an amazing array of horror classics themed t-shirts, hoodies and Tote bags from Literarybookgifts.com.
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It’s been a really exciting week and I’m delighted to report that the 21-stop blog tour for Crimson Siege has ended with a big bang. Three cracking reviews to finish with. And, added to the three corkers the day before, they’ve made me grin from ear to ear.
Kim at Nemesis Book Blog wrote: “This was fast paced, edge of seat, gripping, and sometimes disturbing, but in my opinion it’s not a good horror if you haven’t got something sick, twisted and disturbing lurking around.
“This is set in the time of werewolves and vampires in Transylvania. But definitely not in the traditional sense. Wonderfully written and didn’t hang around, you were quickly transported to the next scene and character.”
Dash Fan Book reviews said: “Crimson Siege hooked me in from the start, it’s fast paced and action packed. It’s a well written taut Gothic style horror. The plot was tense and engaging with flawed intriguing characters. “
That’s right. Three’s a dream. Tuesday proved to be a fabulous day in the Crimson Siege blogger road trip, attracting a trio of stunning reviews, and boosting the number of reviews on Goodreads to 22! (14 of these are 5-star beauties).
The first of the hat trick was from Kirsty at Over the Rainbow Book Blog who wrote: The tension in the second half of the book really holds you and encourages you to read faster to find out how the whole thing is going to play out. The action is great, it is bloody and gory but not unnecessarily so for this type of book. The story is mostly wrapped up but Jay has left plenty of avenues open for the further books, which I am really looking forward to.”
Next Rainne at Just Books wrote: “The characters were well-developed, and each had a unique and flawed personality. Crimson Siege is a well-written, action-packed Gothic tale with plenty of surprising twists and turns to keep you guessing. An entertaining and riveting read which, though it has its fair share of betrayal, brutality and blood, I didn’t find especially scary.
And last, but not – as they say – least, Andy at Pagefarer Book Blog said: “The writing is taut and well-paced, the world-building convincing due to its loose roots in history and playing on some of the vampire themes we know so well. There are a couple of truly horrific moments and I must warn that the book contains some adult themes, as befitting the genre (including swearing, sexual content and violence), but these are not overly dwelt upon nor included solely for shock value.”
Monday was surprisingly quiet in the Raven household – which gave me the chance to catch up on the last two episodes of the latest series of the excellent crime drama Unforgotten. I’d taped it and wanted to find out who the killer was before people started blabbing it all over social media.
Things, however, were much livelier on the Crimson Siege blog tour trail and I was lucky enough to receive two great reviews.
For the Love of Books! said the following:
“The action starts from the very first page and doesn’t let up until the end. It sucks you in from the start and is a real page turner. It’s full of twists and turns, people betraying each other and lots of blood. Excellent read and i‘m looking forward to reading the next book.”
“The pacing was really well done, the build up to the final chapters was done in a way that kept you anticipating what would happen but didn’t drag so you found yourself bored. I really enjoyed this book and the entire storyline. Jay has done a brilliant job with not only creating a convincing and entertaining plot but also fantastic characters.”
Now, I’ve been keeping score and by yesterday my Gothic horror debut novel had attracted 20 reviews on Goodreads – 14 of them 5-star dazzlers! So please forgive me if I’m looking just a tad pleased with myself.
If you want to read a sample chapter of Crimson Siege to judge for yourself, drop me an email and I’ll send you a pdf.
Normally I wouldn’t mention a “shout-out” – that’s where a book blogger doesn’t have the time to read a book and leave a review, so simply gives it a showcase instead. But yesterday, as part of the Crimson Siege tour, the Beardy Book Blogger did such a marvellous spotlight – filled with cartoons, vampire jokes, bloodsucker photos and film references – that it had me in stitches. And I really recommend you check it out. You’ll love it.
Simply click on the cartoon banner.
He did say he didn’t like the novel’s cover, which I found a tad surprising as no-one else has expressed anything but delight with it. But it’s interesting to get the feedback, and is something to mull over.
On the review front, Sean at Seansbookreviews wrote: “Having been a huge fan of vampire books I can say that I was getting tired of the same old style and that they just weren’t cutting it for me. This book was anything but the boring old routine of vampires. It’s set in Transylvania, which for a book with vampires is a bit cliche, but it worked.”
He adds: “This won’t be for everyone, especially if you are used to sparkly vampires who charm everyone they meet and are vegetarian. Sorry this isn’t that type of book and shows vampires for what they truly are. Soulless, merciless and completely devoid of the compassion towards anyone other than those they sired.”
And what an amazing day Saturday was. I received one of the most uplifting compliments I’ve had since the publication of Crimson Siege – and I’m still grinning about it 24 hours later!
Blogger Jessica Rachow has declared my historical vampire thriller one of her favourite reads of the year. Yeah!
She wrote: This is one action packed novel, that sucks (pun intended) you in from the beginning and keeps you until the very end. I could not put it down, and read it in one day. I loved the Gothic, historical writing style of Jay Raven. I loved the twists and turns, and I loved the creepy factor that stayed with me through the entire novel. I absolutely love when a horror novel is actually scary.”
My word! It doesn’t get much better than that…
If you want to read Jessica’s review in full click HERE.
AND IN OTHER NEWS
It’s my turn to guest on Junction Publishing’s in-house newsletter. In it, I reveal what truly terrifies me – and it won’t be what you think!
Great day on Friday (the second day of the week-long blog tour organised by Rachel’s Random Resources). Two bloggers reviewed Crimson Siege and gave it a huge thumbs up.
Jess at Jess Bookish Life wrote:
“With Crimson Siege, Jay Raven gives us a book full of excitement, action, horror, vampires and crazy moments that I can’t even describe because the book was so good.
It was so different from all the other vampire books I have read, and that made it refreshing to me. It’s that Gothic vibe that I quite enjoy in a vampire book with that touch or horror that just makes it scary and unexpected.And it made me remember the first time I read Dracula, and how wowed I was about it.”
As well as her kind words, she shot this marvellous picture. I love it.
Meanwhile, on Birdie’s Bibliotheca, Birdie wrote a very considered appraisal:
“This book was slow for me to get into. I think it was just me, though, because as I got into the meat of it…I fell in love. Vampire books are pretty common, but rarely do I find one where there is no clear good guy/bad guy. Vampires are either good guys (ethically taking blood without death) or bad guys (psychopathic killers). Jay Raven manages to make all the characters in his book human. NOBODY is perfect and everybody has a history.”
She goes on: ” The whole thing reads as literature and not popular fiction, delving deep and depending on personal conflict to move the story along. The tone is reminiscent of some of my favorite Russians.”
The other great thing that happened yesterday – although not directly linked to the blog tour – was that I featured in a fun, fast paced, Meet The Author slot on the Black Books Blog site. Many thanks to Simon for organising this.
Check it out HERE to find out why I’d love to have dinner with Mrs Beeton, where I get inspiration for my chilling historical horror novels, and what surprising career I’d be following if I couldn’t be an author.
I promised I’d give you snippets of what the book bloggers who are taking part in the week-long Crimson Siege blog tour said. Thursday got the tour off to a great start with an amazing review from Jenni on the Odd Socks and Lollipops blog site. She wrote:
“I really loved Jay’s take on vampire lore and their psychic links to one another and I can’t wait to explore this in future books.
There were a lot of vivid and well developed characters, and I loved that there where enough twists and turns that you didn’t know who was going to be alive at the end of the book, nor what your favourite character might do next, each character was unique and flawed. I found Anton, Quintz, Kristina and Irina particularly interesting. I loved that Crimson Siege really makes is clear that it is not just vampires who have the capacity to be monstrous but humans as well.”
I was really pleased to read this as it’s exactly what I was trying to achieve – a story packed with individuals who were capable of great goodness but also amazing cruelty. My idea was to have no good guys and bad guys but just opposing forces, all willing to commit terrible atrocities in their struggle for dominance and survival.
And that’s a theme I intend to expand in the next instalment of the Blood Riders series.
To read the review in its entirety, click HEREto be taken to the Odd Socks and Lollipops website.
There’s a big seven days coming up for me and I’m inviting you to share in the excitement and the tension. Starting tomorrow (Thursday August 16) Crimson Siege – my Gothic horror novel of blood, vengeance and treachery – is being showcased on a 21-stop tour of top book blogging websites.
Every day for a week, three bloggers will be putting the first Blood Riders supernatural thriller under the microscope and sharing their opinions with their readers. And I’m hoping they’re going to love it.
And you’ll be able to find out what they think because each day I’ll be putting excerpts from the previous day’s reviews on this blog so you can get a flavour of what the bloggers are saying – and how kindly or cruelly! And I’ll include links to their websites so you can read the critiques in full.
The idea of the mass reviewing event is to give my work more visibility – bringing it to the attention of horror fans who might (surprising!) not have heard of me yet. So please feel free to share the reviews on your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
The tour is being organised by Rachel’s Random Resources and I’m hugely grateful for all the work that’s gone into organising it – and for this special tour banner below.
Don’t forget, pop over here every day to see the latest verdicts. Keep your fingers crossed for me that it’s a 5-star triumph.
Want to read the very best in Gothic horror and historical chillers – and not have it cost you a single penny?
I’m currently recruiting additional members to bolster my wonderful Advance Review Copy team. Could it be you? You’ll be able to download my latest books for free – weeks before they are released. All I ask in exchange is that you leave an honest online review.
Whether it’s vampire thrillers, tales of sorcery or terrifying werewolf novels, you’ll know you’ll be one of the first to enjoy it and that your review will be helping make the launch a success.
Being an ARC member is fun and there’s no pressure. You won’t be rushed – you’ll have plenty of time to read the book before publication (or the date of any special promotion for already published titles).
And you can be as candid as you like in your review. It’s your true opinion I want you to share with my fans. It doesn’t matter if you don’t feel a title deserves 5-stars. Amazon decides on how much visibility and promotion to give a new title based on how many reviews it garners, not how many plaudits.
Plus, the great news is that a review can be as short as a couple of sentences. It doesn’t have to take long to write.
All that sound good? Great. If you want to be part of the team, click HERE, fill in the simple form and I’ll get back to you.